The Internet was originally built as an experiment – nobody envisioned it would become ubiquitous so quickly. Today, there are 100’s of devices that connect to the Internet – PC’s, laptops, phones, TV’s, appliances, cars, homes, cameras, dog collars, water bottles… on and on the list goes – every single one of these devices needs an IP address.

The IP standard know as IPv4 was introduced in the 1980’s and has proven to be robust, easily implemented, and interoperable. But it was not designed to handle the explosion of connected devices, more commonly referred to as IoT (Internet of things). Today we’re left with only 1.3 billion IP address from the original 4.3 billion, not nearly enough to handle the estimated 50 billion devices that will be online by 2020. Without enough IP addresses the Internet becomes a tangled mess slowing down and complicating connections.


IPv6 – the saviour of the Internet

IPv6 was first introduced in 1999 to overcome the limitations of IPv4. IPv6 provides more efficient routing, simplified network configuration, better support for new services like video streaming, peer-to-peer and VoIP that have tremendous growth and end-user demand, and better security. But the biggest advantage is the number of addresses; IPv6 has 340 Undecillion (340,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) available addresses. In short, IPv6 accommodates for the increased demand by providing a much larger address space.

Up until 2012 adoption of IPv6 was slow, but this all changed on June 6, 2012. On that day the World Launch took place and major Internet service providers (ISPs), home networking equipment manufacturers, and web companies around the world united to redefine the global Internet and permanently enable IPv6 for their products and services. Since then, use of IPv6 has grown 500%.

When should you become IPv6 enabled?

Legacy IPv4 hardware should continue to function well into the future. BUT SME’s need to make sure that any future PC, mobile device, network infrastructure, or other IT purchases support the next-generation IPv6 protocol.

Aware provides IPv6 enabled services to customers hosted in our IDC. If you’re unsure about the benefits of enabling IPv6 and would like more information on IPv6 you can get in touch with one of our expert engineers, who can work with you on a simple enablement plan for your legacy systems (if they support IPv6), and help devise a strategy for any future projects.